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What can I do to help stop my procrastination?

I procrastinate alot and its a very bad habit, what will help me to be on task?#badstudent #procrastination #tryingtodobetter #personal-development #time-management

Thank you comment icon For me, keeping a planner really helps me to stop putting things off. I find that I'm more apt to tackle projects if I have a visual that shows me that things are piling on top of each other. In high school, I always felt like I was procrastinating. Now, in looking back, I see that that was because my teachers gave me so many small projects due before the big ones. I defaulted to focusing on those. If that sounds like you, maybe you can tell yourself to work on those larger projects bit-by-bit each day and reward yourself by working on the small stuff. Even if that is that's not your experience, reward systems are pretty effective. Chelsie

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Toby’s Answer

When I decided to work from home and write a book, procrastination tried to get me all the time. A couple things helped me get past it each day. 

  1. Break the work in to smaller chunks, and just focus on one at a time. This way you don’t get overwhelmed, like with the thought of writing a whole book. Instead you think, “all I have to do is make this one section really good this day or week.”
  2. Make a routine to get yourself into work mode that includes a fun way to start and a reward at the end of each work session.

Most importantly, just remember that you're always going to face procrastination. It's natural and inevitable, but you can and will get past it.

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Rachel’s Answer

<span style="background-color: transparent;">You have to set a routine for yourself and stick to it for the most part. Once you get into the groove of a routine it will be much easier for you to manage your time and have enough time for everything you need to do (including relaxing). Make yourself to-do lists on a weekly basis, use Google calendar or a planner to keep track of events, deadlines, and due dates. In addition to setting a routine and sticking to it, plan out relaxing activities into your day. Or set aside a time, after everything is done for the day, that you can have "me" time. I have also personally found it essential to not only find time for myself but also make use of that time in a way that is best for me and my holistic wellness. I have found the HeadSpace app to be an essential tool in helping me relax and generally feel more relaxed throughout the day, Guided meditation, even if you have a busy schedule, will make you feel more at ease and relaxed throughout the day as a whole (not just when you have the time to relax and focus on that "me" time).</span>

<span style="background-color: transparent;">Set a routine.Use Google Calendar.Set aside Me TimeWrite weekly to-do lists and use a planner.Find a peaceful and restful activity that will help you feel relaxed.</span>



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Melissa’s Answer

Procrastination is a mind thing. We all do it...get in a daze, say we will later and it never happens, etc. One way to avoid procrastinating is to stick with a plan and become your own boss. Just like at work, you cannot procrastinate, or if in class, same with the real world. Tell yourself it is to be done or fail. Set up a calendar possibly on the refrigerator, and try to follow. You may want to speak with positive people and let them be a motivator and stay away from those you know who procrastinates.

remember the saying...Never put off for tomorrow what can be done today, because tomorrow may never come. I always try to stick by this quote and when I find myself procrastinating , those words appear....

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Rachael’s Answer

Hi Cassandra,

Similarly I struggle with procrastination. As a student I found it to be more prevalent in my life than as a professional. To alleviate mine, I would create a list of what need to be completed. If one task included multiple parts I would break those out within the list. (Doing this did make the list seem longer which can be overwhelming, however it enables you to cross the items off more quickly so it does not seem as if you're dwelling on one task forever). I would then reward myself each time I completed a task and crossed it off of the list. This would motivate me to continue through the list to achieve the next reward. (Overtime I would begin completing multiple tasks prior to the reward). If you begin some type of routine along the lines of what has worked for me and all of the other respondees here by finding what works for you, you'll find yourself breaking your habit of procrastination very quickly.

Best of luck.

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Steve’s Answer

I used to be a major procrastinator. Everything I did was last minute and then I would stress and it would cause me unwanted anxiety. For me, I decided to keep a list, a list for anything that came up that needed my attention. Whether it was get air in my tire, pay a bill, a school assignment, work assignment, etc. (I use google "keep" for my lists now).

Every morning I look at my list and start! Crossing things, even small gives me a sense of accomplishment which becomes contagious.

For larger tasks, I set daily goals. If they are not met add them to the next day. You will eventually get into a pattern that you will need/want to accomplish it all.


Steve recommends the following next steps:

Create a list
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Samantha’s Answer

I have the opposite problem where I always have to make a list and be doing something. There are times where this has caused me to feel overwhelmed and made it so I never could enjoy my "free" time. What I used to solve for this I feel could help you as well.

I will create a list of all the things that I need to get done for the day, week, month. Based on these I will select 3 things I am going to do that day. Once I have done those 3 things I am done for the day and feel good about what I have accomplished and am able to then enjoy the rest of my day.
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Allison’s Answer

Cassandra, I agree with Chelsie's comment about keeping a planner and writing down what you must do. Writing things down and organizing them that way instead of typing them has always helped me. There are several cognitive benefits to writing over typing but I also like it because you can cross things off when you complete them.

It also helps to remember that procrastination is just fear in disguise. Most likely this is fear that what you are working on/writing/making won't be good enough or will be difficult. Don't let this fear stop you from reaching your goals! Try taking super small steps to get the ball rolling on a project. For example, if you need to write a 5-page paper for class, just start with putting your name and heading in the proper format on the page and then see if you can do the next super small step after that. Good luck!
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Kim’s Answer

The best thing to do is end everyday, creating a to do list for the next day. Set priorities for each task - priority 1 = must be done today; priority 2 - should be done soon but not a critical task for today; priority 3 = It would be nice to make progress BUT not time sensitive. As tempting as it is, DO NOT allow yourself to work items that are not Priority 1 related UNLESS you have completed all of Priority 1 tasks.

This is easier said then done, because often priority 1 tasks are daunting and priority 2 or 3 tasks may be more fun. Don't fall victim. Stick with your priority 1 items. Break them into smaller milestones so you can see incremental progress.

You will feel better about yourself and learn to break the habit of procrastination.
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Rachel’s Answer

You should start college planning to study every day. Attend your classes. Do the homework. When you find a class difficult, attend office hours early in the semester. If you continue to struggle, get a tutor.
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Brenda’s Answer

I find that setting short deadlines is very helpful. Become passionate about what you are working on as well.

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Ayana’s Answer

Hi Cassandra!

It's really important to not be hard on yourself as procrastination happens to all of us. The best way to break it down is to keep trying to do better. Everyone has offered some really good advice. When I grow through procrastination episodes

Ayana recommends the following next steps:

I refocus myself on the task at hand. That could mean writing it down or making a mental list of everything
Section off each task and try to finish at least one before the day is over
Reward myself for completion of the task(s) and set myself up to finish the rest of them
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Austin’s Answer

I was a huge procrastinator through high school and into college. For me, three things really helped:

  1. Coming up with a planning/productivity system that worked for me. For a long time I tried to plan work the way my teachers suggested, which was based on dates and calendars. For me, the solution was "Getting Things Done" (a system created by David Allen), for other people I know Bullet Journaling was the thing that clicked. Dig around for various productivity systems and see which one clicks for you.
  2. Breaking down my work into small steps. Not "write paper on women's rights," not even "research paper," but "find a book that will help with my research" or "look for information on women's rights in the United States."
  3. Asking myself "why?" It really helps me when I know what the value to me is in doing the task. When I know what's interesting to me about this work, I find myself more motivated to do it.
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Andrew’s Answer

You're not alone in procrastinating, lots of people grapple with managing procrastination. One way that works for some people to overcome procrastination is:

1) Setup a specific recurring time to complete your goal (start your homework at the same time each day, e.g., 5 pm)

2) Make it very easy to start your goal (e.g., have homework assignment easily available and no other distractions/competing priorities at the same time)

3) Reward yourself (eat your favorite snack after doing homework)

See for more tips: https://jamesclear.com/three-steps-habit-change

Andrew recommends the following next steps:

Setup a recurring time to complete your goal
Make it easy to start your goal
Reward yourself
Repeat 1-3 often
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